Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Christmas Fair

Oh the joy of sitting down!  I feel like I need a rest in a health spa to recouperate after several days standing on a cold kitchen floor churning out baked goodies for the school Christmas fair.  Hooray, it finally took place after school today.  Yes, I know it's strange to have it after school, not my choice but let's not get started on that one!  If only a break at a health spa had been a raffle prize...  I do love baking but it's quite a shock to the system to do so much in one go.  The kitchen has been a bit of a no-go area (unless you wanted to sneak in and stuff yourself silly with cakes and bakes, of course).  To relieve the madness and monotony, I had the odd photographic break so you can see what I've been up to.

We have the tree but it has yet to be decorated. The kitchen worktop however, has been very well decorated!  Not a spare inch in sight...

Feeling rather frivolous, I thought I'd share my Christmas biscuit cutter collection with you...

Which helped me turn out these...

Having tried several gingerbread recipes, I now use Peggy Porschen's which is quite "solid" and doesn't break under the weight of the (lurid) icing which children so love.

I must have been feeling a bit crackers by this point because I seem to have set myself the challenge of taking a photo with lots of pink kitcheny things in...

As you can see, in my kitchen , this was not particularly challenging. By early evening, I'd been quite productive...

I was all baked out by this morning so I decided to make myself a little apron instead.  I do love projects like this, where you don't follow a pattern but just measure a bit here, cut a bit there, sew a bit together.  Et voila!

Here I am, transported as if by magic to the school kitchen. The school is quite small, there's no space for our lovely cake stall in the hall so we're relegated to here! What do you think of our goodies? By "our", I mean myself and Tracy, another mum from the Munchkin's class. We do all the baking for the cake stall. Tracy actually makes and sells cakes for a living. Gulp, I do it for fun (at least that's what I tell myself before the three day baking marathon begins).

The chocolate truffles shaped like Christmas puds are always popular. An easy recipe from an old edition of Woman's Own Christmas Special. The choc traybake behind was the most popular thing and flew off the stall. Show children chocolate, squidgy choccy icing and coloured sprinkly bits and you have a winner on your hands! It's also easy to make and from Annie Bell's "Gorgeous Cakes" book. I was also responsible (which probably won't surprise you) for all the frivolous details; the glass cake stands, tablecloth, baskets, Merry Christmas sign and those fabby polka dot napkins (John Lewis/Waitrose).

Tracy made all these cupcakes and brought her posh professional's stand for them to sit on.

The choc chip cookies fashioned to look like Christmas puds were a new recipe I tried this year, another one from a past edition of Woman's Own.  You know what they say, the old ones are the best!

All in all, it was a good event, the children all really enjoy themselves and hopefully we'll have raised a tidy sum to buy some equipment for the school (usually about £1,000 or more).  

And a certain someone was very happy that his mummy is in charge of the cake stall!


  1. Blimy, you did do well! they all look very tasty and so neat.
    Carol x

  2. I am feeling so very hungry now! I've been feeling in the mood to bake some Christmassy biscuits all day today. I think you've inspired me to get in the kitchen tomorrow.

  3. My goodness you've been busy, they all look lovely .... I could just eat one now. Love the photo of you with your new apron, you are so clever & I might take up the offer to come to Somerset in the new year for help!! :)

  4. Those biscuits look divine - you really must have put some work in on those. The puddings are gorgeous and I want one please - do you have any left? ;-)

  5. Hi, hope you dont mind me leaving a comment but my friend Lesley (note from my days) has just shown me your blog and oh my god!!!

    Your bics are fantastic they are so brilliant :-) you are clearly a very talented lady, couly i be cheeky and ask where did you get those cutters from?

    Thank you Kelly

  6. What lovely cookies....wonderful Hen....very pretty pinny!x

  7. Fabulous,those chocolate chip Christmas Puds look wonderful. I'm off to raid the fridge now for a slice of Devils Food Cake.

  8. oh clever Hen how fantastic does all that look :-)
    I am also loving the cutters!! makes me want to bake something - only trouble is no fair to sell my offerings at so I would have to eat them all myself :-D
    Lesley x

  9. You should sit down that was a lot of cookies!!! You can sit back and relax and check out the crazy blog give-aways going on a Sew Mama Sew

  10. Now, that was a mouth watering post Hen!!!!

  11. fabulous - lucky them to have you to do it! All very professional looking! Bet they tasted good too! t.x

  12. Hen, you've outdone yourself! Lovely job.

    Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

  13. Wow your cakes and cookies looked amazing... is it any surprise my stomach is rumbling now and my mouth watering!!

    Victoria x

  14. Ok, I have caught the disease. Off to the kitchen later! AND to the sewing machine. You never seize to inspire me. It is so lovely of you to do all the work for fun (as you say). You can be very proud! And so can certain someone!!
    Jo x

  15. Yummy! Very hungry just now Hen so i'll have a few if that's ok please! xx

  16. Those look yummy!! hm!

    I admire you! I have no skills in the kitchen...

    Kisses from Brazil!

  17. Wow!! That is the most professional looking school cake stall I have ever seen. Well done. If only I had one of the lovely choccy squidgy cakes to go with this cup of coffee!!

    Sue xx

    (even the word verification below this says xx)

  18. Wow! I love your gingerbread puds ... though the trees, snowflakes, and giftboxes are wonderful also. I must admit to being very envious of your snowflake biscuit cutters! Well done!

  19. They all look so fantastic. Well done you !!

    When ever I try to do shaped biscuits they end up as big blobs and only vaguely resemble what they are supposed to be.

    I love the Christmas Puddings - I'm not going to show my 10 yr old - shes quite proud of my lumpy fairy cakes - for now !!!!


  20. Oh, erverything looks so yummy. I´d wish my cookies would look like that.
    Lg and lovley christmas time.

  21. What is your special culinary secret Hen?
    How on earth do you manage to turn out such perfect cakes and biscuits???
    I have given up with my attempts at making biscuits.. they always look chargrilled around the edges and are totally inedible.... back to the recipe book for me!

    Scrumptious is the word that comes to mind seeing your baking triumphs!

    Michele xx
    P.s It looks like you have a very willing guinea pig too!

  22. Hen, that looks fantastic - clever you! I'd love the recipe for the chocolate xmas pudding truffles if you get time to post it. They looks so cute. I bet the stall sold out really quick!
    Yes, I imagine that Cath will be swamped, and I doubt she'd bring Stanley - he'd be crushed, poor thing! I'm not sure I'll get up there or not. It would be fun. xxx

  23. I did exactly the same thing last weekend, I told myself it was fun too!!! all your cakes and biscuits look lovely.

  24. Looks like a busy day.
    Loving those Christmas cookie cutters, they are just so gorgeous.

  25. Hi Hen...i was so thrilled when i spotted it!
    Its super!

    Hope your having a good rest after working hard with the Fayre!



  26. I feel exhausted just thinking about all that baking. It all looks fantastic - if there are any left could you chuck a muffin in my direction please?

  27. Well done you, our Christmas Fair is coming up too, always a winner with me the cake stall and if you were there I would certainly see you out :)

    Mary X

  28. Hi Hen, Ooh how yummy - if only I could just reach into my computer and help myself!!! It all looks quite delicious. Just been catching up on your previous post - your notebooks are quite beautiful! Clare x

  29. Hello Ladies,

    This is your fellow-blogger-ess Jo writing to you. You may have noticed my comments on some blogs.

    Well, my husband and I live in Germany and we want to spend a three week holiday in Great Britain next May. We will have a car.

    If you know of any nice places to go and see or stay at please do share your ideas with us. We are a bit stuck for where to start looking at the moment.

    Thank you all so much!


  30. Hi Hen, Oh, my, god!! Why, why, why can't you be on my boys' school's PTA?! My stress level is HUGE now - I have to do the after school cake stall tomorrow. And I haven't baked a thing yet. And I have no eggs. And I am rubbish at baking. Oh Sh*t. Please, what is the recipe, icing, etc for those fabulous pudding biscuits? Help!! Kathyx Plese leave me a comment on my blog.

  31. Hi!!

    I like much your blog, family and sweet. The adorable cakes and cookies.
    Mmmm, delicious.
    Greetings from Argentina

  32. It all looks absolutely scrumptious! What a lot of work you put in - I'm sure everything flew off the table in record time.

  33. WOW and double WOW, that cake stall looked amazing. I love the xmas pudding biscuits and the pudding truffles. Could I be really cheeky and ask for the recipe? xxx Pixie xxx

  34. Very pretty treats and they look so good! Such hard work, you did sneak some for yourself didn't you?

  35. The school must be so thankful for such a beautiful cake stall. I love the christmas pudding chocolate biscuits so effective you are very talented. I am going to attempt some biscuits for my tree tommorrow with my new snowflake cutter I'll be very happy if they turn out looking anything as nice as yours!

  36. All I can say is...WOW!!! It all looks amazing!! What a cool mum you are!!


  37. Hen I have to say those are the most professional looking cookies and cakes I have ever seen on a school stall. My skills at cake and cookie making are not good. I blame my Aga but as my daughter always seems to bake gorgeous things I am sorry to say it must be me!

  38. Wow, they all look scrummy.
    Could you share the Christmas pud truffle recipe please?
    Lisa x

  39. Hi Hen.....good day?

    He is so best friend and constant support.....:>)

    I've been enjoying the swap parcels, everyone has really entered into the spirit of the thing....brill!xxx

  40. wow how yoummy does that all look.
    Please please please can you come over to my house and make some for me lol.
    River and I are making mince pie's tomorrow so I may have a go at some of those christmas pudding cookies whilst I'm there.

  41. Ooooooooooooooh...



You are warmly encouraged to leave a comment here. Your comments are emailed directly to me so rest assured I read and treasure every one. Thank you for supporting my blog with your comment. X